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and the brass at the pentagon. >> is the real point here he's somebody because of that who has the credibility so that if he's the one who has to remake defense going forward, if he's to talk about cuts to systems he has that extra credibility? >> i think he does and that matters. we had great secretaries of defense that didn't serve. it's an important part as we enter this period. i think that with the real thing here, we take a step back, just look how far the republican party has moved in the last six years. you talked about a republican saying you're out of the mainstream means one thing, you're in the mainstream. because they've left. in 2006, john mccain was talking about chuck hagel as his secretary of state and now he's someone who he thinks is disqualified. from a big picture, the republicans have moved the neocons have such a hold on that party and i don't think that's mainstream thinking in america. >> do you think there is an element of political payback here? >> sure, listen, some of this is situation normal in washington, whether you're a democrat or republican, always trying to
, and former pentagon official and current foreign policy magazine columnist, rosa brooks. it is good to have you here with us. michelle, who i believe you worked with at the pentagon, tell me why i have it wrong or at least why you worry that hagel wouldn't be the right pick for this position. >> i don't know i would say ezra that hagel is the wrong pick, i just don't think he is the best pick. i think there are others around there who would have many of the upsides that hagel has, without the down sides that hagel has. if mitt romney had won and chosen him, i would have applauded him as real courage. chuck hagel has a lot going for him. he is a brave guy, a principled guy. there is a lot to like about him. he is also a republican, and the democratic party has worked really, really hard over past decades to erase the deficit, in which voters consistently said they trusted republicans more than democrats on national security. democrats have worked really hard to erase that gap, but picking chuck hagel seems to me to be sending a message i can't figure out president obama wants to send, i can'
, hagel at the pentagon, jack lew now at treasury? these are the big jobs, and it's sort of striking. you don't have women at the white house staff at the most senior levels. there are deputy chiefs of staff who are not even being mentioned as skrd to replace jack lew. >> it's the -- it's the optics. it doesn't help young women coming up to see these pictures. i think that the white house is always mentioning her az apossibility, and i think that was more just to let people know that they were considering a woman. i think that hagel was the choice the president all along, and that often happens. now, people -- the president and the people are saying, well, there's always women in the second tier jobs, but you don't see those women on tv. you see the secretaries and so, again, it's a problem with optics. >> susan page, you are such ab period of time as the bureau chief of usa today. mountain out of a mole hill, or as jean says, women have different experiences. we're 50% of the population, and being at the table makes a big difference. >> well, to be clear president obama has a pretty good
he wore the uniform. always a challenge to the civilian leadership of the prosecute pentagon. at times of war. there's also a big policy debate in the next two years at the drawdown from afghanistan continues. then the other part of this is what is the big debate that's happening in this town over the next year, and it's going to be the budgets. the pentagon is a big part of this. what better than to have a republican senator be the guy on capitol hill lobbying and dealing with the pentagon, which is inevitable, but it's not an easy thing to do, so why not have a republican make that argument? it's the big picture thinking as far as the president is concerned. i want to talk to miling lighter for a moment. he had been at the cia and some said he wanted to be the first cia director. he was opposed by a lot of -- on the left when those that were against policies that he had after 9/11 and under the bush white house, including enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. >> why is he the right fit for cia? >> i think is he the right fit that he knows the building
with outgoing defense secretary leon panetta showed something about his intention to remake the pentagon. almost over the opposition of republican critics. >> the time has come for me to return to my wife silvia, our three sons, their families, our six grandchildren and my walnut farm. dealing with a different set of nuts. >> the confirmation fights ahead will be driven not just by criticism of hagel and brennan's record, but foreign policy approach. that's what's going on here. in the first term, the president showed he was going to give the washington establishment more deference with his foreign policy pick. he picked hillary clinton as secretary of state and jim jones was his additional national security adviser. none of that deference this time in a selection of hagel, of a kerry, of brennan. president's message is, i got this. it is clear this is a president who wants to leave an imprint on foreign policy. not just about the white house running it, but leaving an imprint everywhere else. he wants his guys to do it. he may not say it the same way bush said it after his re-election to a seco
, bloated. he said the pentagon needs to be pared down. senator hagel also endorsed a report by the group global zero that called for cutting the u.s. weapons arsenal by 80%. the overall goal of global zero, as its name implies, global zero, is global zero nuclear weapons. but this 80% cut in our arsenal is a way to get there is something that chuck hagel has supported. what is the new face of the american military going to be after the end of the longest war in american history, which is afghanistan? the second longest war in american history is vietnam. to have three vietnam veterans in the cabinet running veterans, running state, running defense is a remarkable milestone for veterans of that war, just as a population group, and one that didn't necessarily get treated right by this country when their time at war ended. but for all of us, for all of us, no matter how old we are, for all of us, whether or not we had any connection to the vietnam politics the first time around, for all of us there is the question now of whether the president's decision to turn to these three vietnam combat
secretary of defense, did it make a difference in the pentagon? did it make a difference in that setting to have a woman at that high level? >> right. i think it absolutely did in several different ways, number one, she was just a real inspiration for a lot of young women and really encouraged them to go into jobs that were seen as being in male-dominated realms, secondly, she really brought in a terrific crew of women into leadership positions in the pentagon. you know, dramatically increased the number of women in the positions. and when you think about the rolodex, you tend to think of people you know, and men tend to know more men, and women know more women, so getting people in that high-ranking pentagon post, it occurred to her in the way it may not have occurred to men, that i know kathryn hicks, or jenean davis. and then finally, michelle fourneau put a lot of effort into making the policy, the place a family-friendly work place, not just important to women but men, an important issue. to find flexible work arrangements, and even in the pentagon when you deal with classified info
, picking a fight over the president's pentagon pick. one thing the left and the right can agree on. chuck hagel may have an uphill battle in the senate. next, we'll get the view from both sides. former romney campaign adviser dan seymour and dan clemens will be here for a debate. >>> first, a look ahead at the president's schedule. at 1:05 today is the official announcement of hagel and brennan. you're watching "daily rundown" on msnbc. i was overweight my whole life. i obsessed about my weight my whole life. and then, weight watchers. i amazed myself. get used to it. introducing the new weight watchers 360 program. join for free and expect amazing. because it works. join for free and expect amazing. so if ydead battery,t tire, need a tow or lock your keys in the car, geico's emergency roadside assistance is there 24/7. oh dear, i got a flat tire. hmmm. uh... yeah, can you find a take where it's a bit more dramatic on that last line, yeah? yeah i got it right here. someone help me!!! i have a flat tire!!! well it's good... good for me. what do you think? geico. fifteen minutes could save
. plus, the pentagon tightens its belts ahead of possible cuts. >>> first, our top story at 5:30 a.m. here at 30 rock in new york city. amid a national debate about guns and violence, a california teacher and a campus supervisor are being credited for heroic actions yesterday during yet another school shooting. it happened in taft, california, around the same time vice president joe biden was holding meetings in washington about possible gun regulation. police say a 16-year-old gunman who felt he was being bullied specifically targeted two students using 12-gauge shotguns. one of them was shot and remains in critical but stable condition. the second student was not hit. police say the teacher in the classroom who was grazed by a shotgun pellet and a campus supervisor managed to engage the gunman in conversation and convince him to drop his weapon. police say the shotgun belonged to the suspect's brother. taft high school where the shooting took place typically has an armed guard on campus. the sheriff's department said the guard wasn't there yesterday because he is, well, he was sn
knows the hill. he's a soldier. he's been in combat and knows the pentagon. he's the right guy to do the job. >> john, tony brought up that he's a soldier. there's an argument of a civilian at the top of defense because perhaps keeps us going to war less easily or often. what do you think about having a soldier who's been there and done that at the top of the defense? >> i this is the best nomination the president's made in both of the taerms. he is controversial and stands for something. you know, chuck hagel's someone who i have known since 2007 when we were arguing against a troop increase in iraq and i can tell you on a personal level especially reading his book he cares what happens to the soldier or the marine on the ground embedded in combat and i think in afghanistan with green on blue killings, a question of projection of force and embedded with afghan troops, this is someone to say is this worth the sacrifice and there was a large debate in washington, d.c. prior to the increase of troops in afghanistan and hagel quietly was on the side that was against the president's plan
, is this budget battle. not necessarily here in the pentagon because, again, when the orders come down to cut this, cut that, cut this, the u.s. military has to oblige. they have to get it done. the biggest problem and this is where perhaps chuck hagel, you know, in terms of the kind of difficulties he's having now on capitol hill, may run in to some difficulty, is convincing members of congress up there on capitol hill who, in fact, take on their pet pork barrel projects, even though the pentagon has said we don't want those programs. we don't want those airplanes. congress, instead, votes -- goes ahead and votes for it because it means money and votes back home for many members of congress. so i think that ultimately will be the biggest challenge for secretary of defense chuck hagel if, in fact, he is confirmed, tamron. >> you took issue with what first read pointed out, which is the politics which is what i was starting out the conversation with you regarding, the politics of this, when you have general mcchrystal and we'll play him later today on the "today" show this morning talking about a d
and the policies and decision-making that formally had been with the pentagon. and it has been a cia mission, as you know, in large parts of pakistan and yemen and other places. so seeing how john brennan now in his new perch, if he is confirmed, and he was a career, 25-year career person at the cia and today they are welcoming him home if he gets confirmed, it's going to be very interesting to see how he decides to rebalance that, and whether he does move it back to the pentagon. >> so much attention on the hagel side of this has been paid to the relative handful of republican senators who have been complaining about chuck hagel and the conservative media figures who have been complaining. this one of the things where we're getting a squeaky wheel getting a lot of the attention? my thoughts about chuck hagel is he a consummate beltway choice. even if he does have his loud republican critics. what is your sense of the magnitude of the opposition to him? >> well, it's always very hard to predict when the opposition is going to achieve critical mass. he has extraordinarily deep roots, as you p
stand up to those generals in the pentagon. of course, the president did not serve in the military. and then with all these bruising battles in terms of the fiscal issues, the economy going forward, who better to sort of represent the white house when they try to downsize the pentagon in some form than perhaps a republican senator? thomas. >> nbc's peter alexander live at the white house for us. peter, thanks so much. >>> in talking more about the background of senator chuck hagel and whether or not he's going to be able to make it through the confirmation hearings, there have been certain people on all sides talking about his past. and there are lgbt rights groups who are not so fast to back off their criticism of senator chuck hagel. the group log cabin republicans recently took out a full page ad or ads, that is, the latest one appearing in today's "washington post." the other first appears "new york times" in the saying hagel is wrong on lgbt rights, israel and iran. gregory angelo is the interim executive director of the log cabin republicans and joining me here in studio. gre
years working for michelle flournoy at the pentagon. great to see you. thanks for your time. >> glad to be here, rachel. >> in terms of the raw numbers, the obama administration is roughly equivalent to the clinton administration in terms of female appointees. it is doing better than the bush administration. but you feel like they're worthy of some criticism on this subject? >> oh, i hold president obama to a pretty high standard. i would like to think after the eight years of the bush administration, we could do a little better than the clinton administration, not just go back to the clinton administration. although i have to say, if i were valerie jarrett and i were about to go off the fiscal cliff, i would hide behind jay carney too. >> on the issue of michelle flournoy, you're not totally objecting on this. she is highly regarded in washington, not just by you, but by pretty much everybody in the defense establishment. were you surprised that she didn't get the nod? were you surprised that chuck hagel specifically did? >> i was surprised. i thought it was a fantastic opportunity
the lead at the pentagon from leon pennetta, who offered some parting thoughts during the announcement. take a listen. >> the time has come for me to return to my wife, sylvia, our three sons, their families, our six grandchildren and my walnut farm. dealing with a different set of nuts. [ laughter ] >> i guess when you're out-going, mark halperin, you can do that. >> look, he's a funny guy and he survived in washington in public service for 50 years in the military in executive branch and congress being not just serious and smart and dedicated but a really funny and nice guy. incredible story. i was glad to see amist thedst announcement of the new nominees he got his ceremony and i'm sure there will be more in the next couple of weeks. >> a vietnam soldier and veteran has been nominated as the next secretary of defense and the president emphasized hagel's government service and personal connection to the organization he's now been nominated to run. >> chuck represents the bipartisan tradition we need more of in washington. for his independence and commitment to consensus, he's earned
in afghanistan. >> the pentagon said thousands of troops may be needed beyond 2014 to contain al qaeda who currently has 66,000 troops there. all of this comes with president obama scheduled to meet with hamid karzai friday at the white house. karzai is in washington and will meet with a group of senators including mitch mcconnell. joining us is retired four-star ynl and vote vets.org who served twice in i wack. thank you very much for joining us. general, i will start off with you. many intricate or believe that the president's choice in john kerry and check hagel indicate withdrawing more troops and leaving far fewer in that country and as we move forward with other possible conflicts. >> i hope so. i think both are vietnam vets and wounded in action. they have a very realistic view on the limitations of military power. this is going to be important. president obama is not going to get much out of karzai from a strictly military perspective and maybe 30,000 troops is the right answer for air power and counter terrorism and intelligence support in afghanistan. i don't think that's going t
meet and greet help ward off the threat of defeat for his nomination to run the pentagon? and three is a magic number. it' it's the "the daily rundown"'s third anniversary. some surprises along the way. good morning from washington. it's friday, january 11th, 2013. this is "the daily rundown," i'm chuck todd. boy, three years? a different part, huh? let's get to my first reads of the morning. vice president biden will present his recommendations on gun violence to the president tuesday. white house officials say an assault weapons ban will still be an element of whatever final package is proposed, despite reporting to the contrary this morning. and while in a 15-minute statement for cameras yesterday, biden emphasized an emerging consensus around a set of what he called gun safety proposals. he did not mention the assault weapons ban idea once. >> there is a surprising -- so far, a surprising recurrence of suggests that we have universal background checks. i've never quite heard as much talk about the need to do something about high-capacity magazines. the whole question of the abil
republicans reeling. tracie potts is live in washington this morning with more on how his pentagon and cia nominations could prompt the next big fight on capitol hill. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, we could hear more about that here today. chuck hagel bringing up concerns from democrats and republicans. and as for john brennan, we're seeing the aclu and others speak out about that nomination. protests outside the white house questioning whether john brennan spoke out loudly enough against controversial interrogation tactics. that's why brennan dropped out last time he was considered to head the cia. this time, he's courting both sides. >> although i consider myself neither a republican nor a democrat, i very much look forward to working closely with those on both sides of the aisle. >> reporter: but brennan's confirmation may not be as tough as chuck hagel's for secretary of defense. >> mr. president, i'll always give you my honest and most informed counsel. >> reporter: he backed some cuts at the pentagon, an issue congress will deal with next month. >> as a successful business
and selflessness. i'll always do my best. i doll my best for our country for those i represent at the pentagon and for all our citizens. and, mr. president, i'll always give you my honest and most informed counsel. >>> so with the main controversy swirling around hagel and his record on issues like iran and israel, he chose unusually to defend himself in an interview with his hometown newspaper the lincoln star journal. he told the paper "the distortions about my record have been astounding." he added, "there's not one shred of evidence that i'm anti-israel." >> john brennan spent 25 years in the cia before he became the president's chief counter-terrorism adviser working inside the white house. the president considered brennan for the same job after he first got elected in 2008. brennan withdrew his name from consideration after he got associated with the enhanced interrogation techniques that had been used during the bush administration. charges brennan denied. over the past several years, brennan has been instrumental in expanding the administration's use of drone strikes fwens terror targe
picking this guy for the job he needs done at the pentagon, but i do recognize their tactics. they're the same ones they used to push the war in iraq. they say they don't like something he said, hagel did, 14 years ago about a gay man being put up for ambassador. i don't like it either, but, a, it was 14 years ago, and, b, i don't think it's got anything to do with why the hawks are opposing him. since when is the right wing of this country so caring for gay rights? as bill clinton would say, give me a break. and this isn't about israel's security any more than it's about ours. the right wants a hawk at defense for all occasions. someone with an itchy trigger finger who has always got a country lined up to go to war with, iraq, afghanistan, iraq again, libya, syria, iran. sorry, the guy you lined up to be president would have picked a person you'd want as defense chief, a real genuine hawk, but mitt romney lost, didn't he? he lost. so keep firing off those anti-hagel columns and editorials, my right wing brothers, and don't worry, you won't get hurt. it's why they don't give you pu
for the pentagon job. general, welcome. thank you very much. >> nice to be with you. thank you. >> tell me why you think chuck hagel is the right person for this job despite all the controversy that has been raised about what he said about israel in the past and iran in the past, criticisms of some of his other statements certainly the statements about gay americans. >> i think for two, maybe three reasons. first of all, he is a very solid, sound thinker. he has been involved in these matters for decades. he comes at decisions by analysis. not by a mee jerk support for this philosophy or that, but what is best for the united states. that's a wonderful attitude, and i think he and john kerry have similar points of view, and they'll be a good team. but, secondly, he is -- he would be the first secretary of defense to have served as an enlisted man in the trenches. from uso to veterans administration, he understands the political and human problems in a way that no other secretary has. >> do you think that he has the experience and the skill to get his arms around that pentagon bureaucracy and all th
alone in a place far from home. give some thought to the possibility they'd like to have a pentagon chief who knows just what that's like. and that's "hardball for now," thanks for being with us. the ed show with ed schultz starts right now. >> good evening and welcome to new york. the republicans are whining about the president's choice for defense secretary. tonight a reminder of who won the election and why this is the perfect guy. let's get to work. >> chuck hagel is the leader that our troops deserve. he is an american patriot. >> president obama nominates chuck hagel as defense secretary, and conservatives are fuming. >> positions that he has taken over the years will be, i think very much a matter of discussion. >> this is an in-your-face nomination by the president. >> if hagel is nominated, it is very difficult to imagine circumstance in which i could support his confirmation. >> admiral joe sestak and richard wolffe are here on the road to confirmation and what this could mean for defense cuts. >>> republicans are coming out for the government shutdown. >> you think that's
that will face the president. picks to run the pentagon and the cia. that's if they make it through the senate gauntlet. >>> this morning we'll meet one of the faces of the gop. freshman congressman tom cotton of arkansas. got a big crowd of conservatives. grinning from ear to ear already about his future in his party. >>> and richard nixon would have turned 100 years old today if he were still alive. find out how his legacy is still trying to get shaped by his supporters and why he might be the most consequential american politician in the last half century. good morning from washington. it's wednesday, january 9th, 2013. this is the daily rundown. i'm chuck todd. right to my first reads of the morning. the end of the month deadline provides president biden's task force on gun violence to present its proposals is quickly approaching. today biden, cabinet members and senior staff kick off a series of meetings with what the white house describes as stake holders in this debate aimed at trying to produce a consensus or proposals to curb gun violence. today biden meets with victims groups and gun
the pentagon. he slammed the door on debt ceiling negotiations demanding congress raise it without drama and says he's ready to be tough on gun control but remember the president doesn't have to worry about re-election ever again. so expect his second term agenda to look a lot like this. full of overtures to the base which criticized him over the last four years for caving to republicans. to help decipher what to expect in the next four years, we start with nbc's peter alexander outside of the white house and "the washington post" david nakamura. peter, look, you could describe the first term and the first few months since being re-elected as a confident obama. making bold cabinet picks. laying out a very ambitious agenda, adding gun legislation to the docket or you could describe it as almost confident. you know, he backed away from the susan rice pick. he gave in on taxing the top income earners at the rate he wanted. and so far he's really just tiptoed kind of cautiously around gun control. so this a confident obama based on the agenda you're seeing or a caution one? >> reporter: focu
, but the blowback on the ground is something that -- can be furious and last friday i was at the pentagon talking to the joint chiefs legal advisor who we talked about this at length. one of the things that they try to do as they analyze and propose strike, what's the blowback going to be. >> on the ground. >> on the ground. you can hit a guy in the house, but if all the neighbors -- if that causes them to go join the taliban, you know, you have taken a big step backwards. he was trying to persuade me that they pay attention to that when they're looking at a proposed strike, but the problem is how can do you that from washington? very, very difficult. the evidence so far is in yemen, for example, enormous blowback. you know, the analysis that i've seen is that we've caused more harm than good there. >> ben, i wonder, the other -- there is blowback regionally, but there has been such a lack of discussion here, and i remember the "new york times" kill list story that raised hackles in the administration. mr. obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the iraq war and torture and then
of the pentagon. josh rogan at foreign policy first breaking the news on the nomination and noting in the same breath all the republican senators that are against the nomination. john cornyn saying he can't support chuck hagel because he has a, quote, problem with israel. senator dan coates said chuck hagel has had so much disrespect for the military which is a pretty rich thing to say about a veteran. he would lack experience he would need for the job. senator mccain says his colleague barely even counts as a republican. senator mark kirk says he is, quote, concerned about mr. hagel. mr. hagel also faces opposition from the democratic side for the time back in 1998 when he opposed an ambassador nominee for being what mr. hagel described at the time openly aggressively guy, for which he finally apologized last month. there is also opposition to a lesser extent just because chuck haguele is a republican. this is not ideological opposition. it's partisan. but in the technical sense of that. why is it that democratic presidents always appoint republicans to run the pentagon, but republican presid
nebraska senator chuck hagel, a republican, as his next pentagon topper. he would be the first enlisted soldier to hold that cabinet post. he's got the support of national security figures, but his senate confirmation is now shaping up to be a testy battle. republican senators suggested they'll challenge their former colleague on his tough record. he has opposed sanctions against iraq. >>> on the sunday morning hagel's critics, including li lindsey graham will louder than his backers. >> i expect that the president to nominate people different than i would think, i'm going to vote for senator kerry, i think he's very much in the main stream of thought. chuck hagel if confirmed to be secretary of defense would be the most antagonist secretary of defense. he has long severed ties with his party. this is an in your face nomination by the president. >> senator hagel has some criticism on the left. whether he questioned an openly gay nominee by president clinton was fit enough to represent the united states. >> who will. be the best job in helping to secure america? >> anything to disqualify
the pentagon. it will be a fight. 40 years after history was made, now a big part of that history is up for sale. more on that. this is msnbc, the place for politics. we were so blessed when we had triplets if by blessed you mean freaked out about money well we suddenly noticed that everything was getting more expensive so we switched to the bargain detergent but i found myself using three times more than you're supposed to and the clothes still weren't as clean as with tide. so we're back to tide. they're cuter in clean clothes. thanks honey yeah you suck at folding [ laughs ] [ female announcer ] one cap of tide gives you more cleaning power than 6 caps of the bargain brand. [ woman ] that's my tide, what's yours? >>> an amateur video there from inside syria showing new bombing inside the city of bar. the unite nations estimates 60,000 people, 60,000 have been killed in the civil war and now u.s. troops are in turkey just across the syrian border. coming up, more on the conflict and what it will mean for the united states. first, though, time now for today's flashback. a trip back to
clinton at the state department. karzai made a visit to the pentagon this morning received with full honors of secretary of defense panetta. karzai met with top military officials before touring the pentagon memorial with the defense secretary. the visit concludes tomorrow with a highly anticipated meeting with the president at the white house. >>> and still ahead, we're learning new details about nfl player junior sayeh's death and the disease he was suffering from before his suicide. did it play a role in his death? >>> plus, new liberal support for congressman barney frank after the retiring democrat makes it clear he wants, well, he wants to temporarily fill john kerry's soon to be vacated senate seat. >>> and be sure to check out the "news nation" tumbr page. this photograph is of someone hiding from the cold. we ask you, can you guess who's behind the blanket? the answer is at the bolt tom of the screen to the left. so, we all set? i've got two tickets to paradise! pack your bags, we'll leave tonight. uhh, it's next month, actually... eddie continues singing: to tickets to... p
to do, wind down the war in afghanistan, cut the pentagon budget in a way that protects our security, deal with iran, deal with the middle east. he's going to have a big job to do. he's an impressive guy, as mika said, he's got tons of support, as andrea said, but he does have detractors who he's going to have to win over even if they don't vote for him. >> he has sharp elbows. when i was on the hill, i didn't like the guy. i didn't. a lot of people didn't like the guy. i understand why john mccain wouldn't like a republican senator that endorsed a democrat. i understand. he doesn't play well with others in the sandbox. he certainly didn't when he was in the senate. i got to know him, though, through the years, and we got to know him. we like him. we respect him. he said some things about israel that caused me concerns. >> yeah. >> but he's going to be the president's secretary of defense. and i just wonder, what's better for democrats politically? if barack obama gets his republican secretary of defense or if republicans who, after deep sixing an african-american woman for secretary
don't know what his management experience is regarding the pentagon, little if any. so i think it's an incredibly controversial choice. and it looks like the second term of barack obama is going to be an in-your-face term. >> well, senator hagel is a straight talker from the midwest. he'll give you an unvarnished opinion, and very outspoken. but he has stated his unequivocal total support for israel, saying critics have completely distorted his record. graham predicted other republicans would have a hard time with hagel's nomination. and it just makes you wonder what is really behind all this. senator graham complained that hagel had cut ties with the republican party. but obviously president obama isn't under any requirement to nominate anybody from any party, especially the republicans in the first place. maybe republicans don't like the fact that hagel won't be so eager to get us into another confrontation overseas. here is more from the president. >> he understands that sending young americans to fight and bleed in the dirt and mud, that's something we only do when it's absolu
announced the nomination of the former senator from your state to head the pentagon. let's take a listen. >> chuck hagel is the leader that our troops deserve. he is an american patriot. he enlisted in the army and volunteered for vietnam. to this day he bears the scars and shrapnel for battles he fought in our name. we see a decorated combat veteran of character and strength. they see one of their own. most importantly, chuck knows war is not an abstraction. he understands that sending young americans to fight and bleed in the dirt and mud, that's something we only do when it's absolutely necessary. >> well, senator hagel paid tribute to the men and women in uniform at the announcement today. let's listen to the nominee himself. >> mr. president, i am grateful for this opportunity to serve our country again and especially its men and women in uniform and their families. these are people that give so much to this nation every day with such dignity and selflessness. this is particularly important at a time as we complete our mission in afghanistan and support the troops and military famil
that hit the twin towers and the pentagon. we have to attack iraq because we've got evidence they have weapons of mass destruction, wmd, even if there's no evidence they have nuclear weapons and it would turn out they didn't have chemical or biological either. we have to attack iraq, the hawks, they promised it would bring peace between israel and the palestinians. the road to jerusalem runs through baghdad it was said. what we've got instead is the loss of even a chance for peace in the middle east. well, tonight the people who sold america the iraq war are out selling more warfare in the middle east. they want military action against syria, they want war waged against syria, and they want chuck hagel out of the way. why? because he's just the kind of guy who will ask, what should we have asked when "w" took us to war in iraq? is this really the smart thing to do for us? we've got peter beinart right now with the daily beast and sam stein with "the huffington post." thank you. i have been reading your stuff. sam, you quoted colonel lawrence wilkerson who served as chief of staff to co
and that is to continue panetta's effort to streamline the pentagon and make budget cuts. those who are in favor of a strong defense are against that and therefore against hagel's perception more cuts are necessary and finally there is a great deal of concern about hagel's statement that unilateral american action in trying to restrict what iran can do economically and with its money, hagel doesn't think that's a good thing to do and lots of people on both sides of the aisle in the senate who disagree with hagel about that and hearing about that in the hearings. >> it's interesting, colonel, that, again, going back to his war record and when you look at our nation as the president pointed out, could have a leader as secretary of defense who has been in that situation. he knows what it is like to have young men and women in the mud and the ground and like to see people, you go in to war with and you come out without them. you know this, as well. give us some perspectives and the importance of having an individual like this, whether it's chuck hagel or maybe in the future someone else who's been t
the pentagon that a provincial vietnam veteran like chuck hagel. >> i want to play a clip of what former general stanley mcchrystal said on the "today" show this morning. >> if president obama trusts him, i think senator hagel has the experience. he's certainly got the quality as a person. the real matter is whether the president has that level of trust. that level of trust and relationship between those people and with other members of the cabinet are the most important. >> matt, to perry's point, is a big part of this about the president just likes him? they've gotten along for many years now? >> yeah. he has a very close relationship with vice president joe biden as well from their work in the senate and a bunch of other things. perry's exactly right. we have fights coming up. the sequestration cliff is on us on march 1st. we still haven't sorted that out. so, you know, in many ways military spending has been one of the third rails of washington politics for a long time. so from obama's point of view, it's a great idea to have someone who has gone out there and talked about the necess
of the pentagon and military commanders on the ground regarding the troop levels after 2014. he says that would come at a separate announcement. much is written and said about the selection or nomination of chuck hagel and john kerry as part of the president's circle in determining what to do with afghanistan or with the troop levels in afghanistan moving ahead. >> that's right, tamron. and i think that the pressure on the president internally within his own administration to keep those numbers very low will be fairly considerable. last year, we were led to believe that there would be remaining force post-2014 of 10,000 to 15,000. i think today you should probably look at a 3,000 to 6,000 force. but what i thought was interesting about the press conference, tamron, was that while the president described the role of those forces in very narrow terms, continuing the training and doing a counter terrorism operation when needed against al qaeda remnants, what he didn't say was what's the main purpose of having those forces remain in afghanistan? i think it's two fold. one of them is to keep the tal
. doesn't this come down to where he said this about the pentagon. it is bloated and needs to be pared down. that's his greatest sin isn't it? >> that is one of them. i think the other was questioning the iraq war and eventually coming out and opposing the iraq war and saying after he cast the vote in favor of the iraq war, coming back and saying you know what? this was the wrong move. that created a lot of animosity. and we have seen criticism from the left. i do want to see a confirmation process. i want to know how he'll behave towards lbgt members of the military. >> and he has already apologized for those statements. >> absolutely. absolutely. but the charges that -- i mean, the thing that has really been ludicrous is because he hasn't been with mccain and lieberman an every vote in israel, not only is his anti-israel, he's anti-semitic. i think that shuts down any debate on the topic. >> had a change of heart as he was saying on the iraq war. and as peter binehart writes on the daily beast, the former vietnam rifleman realized that detached and self-interested elites were sending
in a place far from home. give some thought to the possibility they'd like to have a pentagon chief who knows just what that's like. and that's "hardball for now," thanks for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, chris. and thanks to you fr tuning in. tonight's lead show down over defense. today, the president officially nominated his choice for defense secretary. vietnam veteran and former gop senator chuck hagel of nebraska. already, republicans are signaling a major fight over his nomination. they apparently think the president should have the right to pick his own team, even though hagel has all the qualifications for the job. >> chuck hagel is the leader that our troops deserve. this day, chuck bears the scars and the shrapnel from battles he fought in our name. chuck hagel's leadership of our military would be historic. he would be the first person of enlisted rank to serve as secretary of defense. one of the few secretary who is have been wounded in war. and the first vietnam veteran to lead the department. in chuck hagel, our troops see a decor
's. how lives are going to change for men and women of the pentagon and how committed chuck hagel is. so she wants to know even though some of the gay activists and some of the interest groups human rights campaign have said that they accept his apology for what he said 14 years ago. >> well, so andrea, i would say that, first of all, i agree with chuck, and i think that what matters here is that the confirmation hearing, i think, may actually matter for chuck hagel. both in terms of the point chuck made, which is that if there is something sort of that we don't know that comes out, this is not a nominee who can probably with stand something like that. i think it's important that chuck schumer, tammy baldwin, normally if nominees fail, whether it's for supreme court or cabinet decisions, they fail in terms of confirmation because the sort of old party of the president pulls back. with harriet myers it was the uprising amongst conservatives that really doomed her. it seems to me john cornyn is not going to be for chuck hagel or john mccain. i doubt they're going to be for chuck hagel, but
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